The 2014 World Animation & VFX Summit Awards
The World Animation & VFX and Summit and are proud to honor six of the most accomplished people and companies in the industry. The event organizers and magazine’s staff chose the honorees for the breadth and depth of their contributions to the art, technology and business of animation and visual effects. The honorees will be celebrated Nov. 2 at the Opening Night Gala of the World Animation & VFX Summit at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey. Founder, Gotham Group
Ellen Goldsmith-Vein is the owner and CEO of The Gotham Group, a multifaceted management and production company. As a producer, she recently had back-to-back No. 1 opening films with No Good Deed and The Maze Runner. She was nominated for an Emmy and won an Annie in 2008 for the American version of Aardman’s Creature Comforts series. She previously was president of animation and family entertainment at Artists Management Group and an executive at Nelvana, William Morris Agency and Atlas Management. A graduate of UCLA and Hollins College, she is on the board of NAB/ NFC for the Democratic National Committee and is a member of Blue Ribbon, which supports the Los Angeles Music Center. Founder of Film Roman
Phil Roman is the founder of Film Roman, an award-winning studio that started out producing acclaimed Garfield TV specials in 1984 before becoming the original animation house for Fox’s The Simpsons and King of the Hill. Winner of six Emmys, Roman began his career in animation in 1955 as an assistant animator on Sleeping Beauty. He contributed to countless TV commercials and worked at Warner Bros., UPA and MGM. For Film Roman, he produced a theatrical Tom and Jerry movie and has many TV credits. Film Roman went public in 1996, and Roman sold his interest in the company in 1999, founding the new Phil Roman Entertainment. He is an executive producer on the CG-animated feature El Americano: The Movie, slated for an early 2015 theatrical release.
Producer, DreamWorks Animation
Bonnie Arnold is the producer of DreamWorks Animation’s hit How to Train Your Dragon franchise, the second installment of which is one of this year’s biggest hits. Accomplished in nearly every genre, she produced Sony Pictures Classics’ The Last Station, which was nominated for two Oscars. She also produced DreamWorks Animation’s Over the Hedge, Disney’s Tarzan and Pixar’s Toy Story. Arnold’s first entertainment industry job was as unit publicist for American Playhouse’s King of America. She then worked with independent filmmakers via the American Film Institute and the Atlanta Independent Film and Video Festival. Arnold is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Producers Guild of America.
Established in 1994, Rubicon Group Holding is a multifaceted organization devoted to storytelling across all platforms. With world-class talent and patented technology, RGH works in film and TV animation, themed entertainment, digital games, educational media, consumer products and virtual vocational training. RGH Entertainment released its first theatrical feature during the summer of 2014, Postman Pat: The Movie, a joint venture with Classic Media. RGH’s flagship project, Pink Panther and Pals (co-produced with MGM,) premiered in 2010 on Cartoon Network worldwide and earned multiple awards and accolades. Founder and group CEO Randa S. Ayoubi leads the corporation, which employs more than 400 people in Amman, Jordan; Los Angeles; Manila, The Philippines; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Since 1984, Jim Cummings has given life and voice to some of America’s most beloved cartoon characters, earning nominations for multiple Emmys and an Annie Award. Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Cummings spent Saturday mornings riveted to the TV screen as he mimicked the characters in his favorite cartoons, dreaming that one day he would voice them himself. These days, Cummings is one of the best-known voiceover actors in animation. He has worked extensively for Disney and Warner Brothers, voicing such classic characters as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Darkwing Duck and the Tazmanian Devil, as well as lending his voice to feature films and television shows for virtually every studio in the business.
David Silverman is a four-time Emmy-winning director, best known for directing numerous episodes of the animated TV series The Simpsons as well as The Simpsons Movie. Silverman was involved with the series from the very beginning, animating all of the original short Simpsons cartoons that aired on The Tracey Ullman Show. He and went on to serve as director of animation for several years on The Simpsons. He also directed the The Simpsons Movie, and co-directed Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. In 2012, Silverman directed the theatrical short The Longest Daycare, starring Maggie Simpson, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.